12 Prospect Barriers WE Must Negate
Sales & Marketing for Professional Services & Sales & Selling

12 Prospect Barriers WE Must Negate

May 22, 2017

by Tony Vidler  CFP logo   CLU logo  ChFC logo
prospecting-barriers“What do we have to get right for prospects to become clients?”

“Remove or negate the barriers to them deciding to business”

“What barrier?”

“All of them…..”


There are many barriers which can prevent a prospect from engaging in the professional financial advice process, and WE have to try and eliminate or negate all of them.  The first step in understanding how to negate them is of course being able to identify them.


Regardless of the specialist area of financial advice the following barriers exist for the majority of consumers:

  1. Awareness of need or potentially beneficial products
  2. Limited experience of professional advice processes or value
  3. Inadequate product or solutions knowledge
  4. Cynicism or doubt of product benefits or industry solutions
  5. No sense of immediacy to resolve long term or perceived low risk personal planning issues
  6. Poor reputation of advice and low consumer trust
  7. Fear of being misled or sold inappropriate solutions (and associated feelings of inadequacy)
  8. Inconvenient, expensive and time consuming purchase cycle (whether that be advice or product solutions)
  9. Establishing positive and open relationship with a particular adviser
  10. Information overload (too much complex information and jargon in early stages of engagement)
  11. Perception of unfairness (disclosure obligations and privacy considerations for the consumer seem intrusive or unbalanced)
  12. Disproportionate sense of commitment (consumer has to sign “contracts” or enter into arrangements spanning decades)


The power of word-of-mouth, or referral, marketing is that it virtually eliminates barriers 2, 5, 6, 7 and 9.    The transfer of trust which arises from those peer to peer recommendations does actually negate a number of the barriers to prospects engaging with us.  But not all….and our marketing and communication must resolve these barriers in order for a consumer to engage us.



If we are trying to engage with a larger pool of prospective clients, and not just those arriving via personal introduction,  then our marketing and communication has to handle ALL of these issues at some point.  While I have arranged the barriers in a generally logical (or perhaps chronological) order we should not take it for granted that consumers will wish to have each addressed in the same sequence.  So we cannot take it for granted that some of these barriers will be resolved when we actually get to meet prospects and go through our disclosure discussions….many will want those issues addressed before deciding to engage.



An effective marketing plan should ensure that it confronts all 12 barriers head on.   Call out the ghosts….address the elephant in the room….pick your own metaphor for it, but deal with them up front.  We cannot ignore them as they are real issues for the consumers who we would love to have as clients,and those consumers will not become clients until these barriers are eliminated or negated.


All of them, that is.

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